UPDATE, Nov. 17: One of the boys burned from a gasoline explosion has been upgraded from serious to fair condition. The other boy most severely burned remains in critical condition.
PERRY, Box Elder County, Utah - In a town of fewer than five thousand residents, the explosion that burned five boys has reverberated through all of Perry, Utah.
They were walking home from elementary school Thursday. The oldest was ten, the youngest seven. The bright red plastic gas containers sat in the open, next to the garage of a house where an older couple lived.
“I heard a big bang and I come running out,” said Cody Neilson, the second neighbor on the scene. Neilson smothered the flames before they could set fire to his neighbor’s house. The owner of the house was busy helping two of the boys who were lying on her lawn.
Along with Neilson and his neighbor, add a UPS driver to the list of good Samaritans who aided the wounded boys.
Perry Mayor Jerry Nelson says the driver was the first to call 9-1-1, getting emergency responders there within two minutes.
Mayor Nelson said he knew the children himself and was, in fact, related to one of the boys.
“You know most of the children in the city so our thoughts and prayers are definitely with the parents,” Mayor Nelson said.
All five boys went to the hospital, and are expected to survive. One boy was treated and released.
On Friday, one boy remains in critical condition, another is in serious condition and two other are in good condition.
One of those three, a 7-year-old, was able to run to his own home, and ask his mother for help.
That boy’s grandfather talked with FOX 13. “You feel sorry for a young boy like that getting hurt that bad. It’s gonna be a slow process getting better, but they say it’ll be alright,” said Blake Glover.
Glover said his grandson breathed in some fumes and was burned in his throat.
Mayor Nelson says one of the boys had to be intubated at the Burn Unit.